Technology in Design
Shiplap and subway tile! We’re glued to the TV watching an endless stream of house flipping and renovations shows. We’re into open floor plans and oversized clocks. We want large dining rooms and outdoor spaces for entertaining, but when we’re ready to settle in for our favorite weekly drama, or curl up with the family to stream a movie, we’d like to see a TV! While we’re watching television, have you noticed what’s missing in some of the home renovation shows’ designs? The TV! The computer…technology! Why IS that? Granted, some embrace technology-free zones, with no disruptive television, gaming consoles or mobile devices in designated homework or family dinner spaces. That’s great, but many technologies actually keep us educated, safe, comfortable, informed and entertained. Lighting, LEDs, control devices and window coverings are elegant, convenient and energy-efficient. So, why is technology so often neglected in design?
Plan Now or Patch Later
For the best possible outcome, let us, the technology solutions provider, work with the Interior Designer from the onset of the project. We can determine the technology requirements and provide the needed infrastructure before the shiplap, subway tile or custom wallpaper goes up. We can provide the cabling and determine power requirements, saving time and costly refinish work now and down the road. Sure, that painting looks great over the mantle, but would you eventually like to hang an OLED there? Let’s wire for it now so we don’t disturb the brick, wood or wallcovering later. Or, even better, let’s hang it now and conceal it with custom framed artwork that scrolls up to reveal the display! Oh yes, we can!
Wireless Is Only Half of It
Windows are another key design element that require careful planning. Not only should consideration be made for the type and size of windows in media areas, but thoughtful pre-wiring for control and power will be appreciated when it’s time to install motorized shades. It’s true that control for some features can be via wireless remotes, but we still need a power source. The same holds true for keypads and touchscreens, security features, architectural speakers and especially the equipment rack. The equipment rack is the home’s technology hub, housing some or all of the system’s components. It is often centrally located in a closet that offers adequate ventilation and the ability to run cabling for every device and control interface to each room of the house. Homes with crawl spaces, basements and attics make this task somewhat easier, but often we are faced with concrete, brick or massive walls of windows overlooking the lake or golf course. Exquisite hardwood, marble and tile floors present challenges as well. Get the picture?
Speaking of exquisite features, one “designer” that truly embraces tech is Palm Beach’s Vanilla Ice. While his over-the-top south Florida style is all about the bling, his luxury designs focus on the elegance, entertainment and fun of well-planned integrated technologies. From outdoor living areas to kitchens, master bedrooms to outrageous home theaters and virtual reality gaming rooms, he focuses on how the family will use the space and designs around the technology. Say what you will about a rapper turned house flipper, but his VIP (Vanilla Ice Project) designs require no retrofit (and he loves the fancy wallpaper).
So, let’s get the entire design team – the architect, interior designer, technology solutions provider and homeowner – in lockstep. The end result will be a happy homeowner and beautiful, untouched high-end finishes (or maybe even shiplap)!